Indigenous Child Welfare System: A Case Study

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As residential schools were discredited, the child welfare system became the new agent of assimilation and colonization (Russel, 2015). The introduction of section 88 in the Indian Act made it possible to enforce provincial child welfare legislation on-reserves (Knozlowski, Sinha, Hoey, & Lucas, 2011). This allowed provincial child welfare authorities to apprehend Indigenous children living on these reserves, which resulted in a sudden acceleration in child welfare workers removing Indigenous children from their communities (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996). Before Section 88 emerged less than 1% of children in care in BC were Indigenous but by the early 1960s, 34% of children in care were Indigenous (Knozlowski et al., 2011).…show more content…
The Indigenous culture was viewed as inferior and unable to adequately provide for the needs of their children, which was fully fuelled by disproportionate poverty rates as well as the repercussion of residential schools (Russell, 2015). Due to not being able to maintain the standards of European child-rearing practices and common values, social services workers attempted to rescue these children from the conditions they were living in (O’Connor, 2010). These issues have detrimental effects on the families of survivors of the residential schools for generations, also known as multigenerational trauma. Instead of addressing this social policy concern the government was contributing and controlling it, where Indigenous people had little power to address
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